LOS ANGELES – Southern Californians already dealing with a siege of the destructive forest fires were warned to be ready for extreme fire potential early Thursday, but the situation appeared less dire than predicted, although a strong Santa Ana wind is blowing.
Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, had said Wednesday that one of the color-coded danger scale had reached, in purple, that had never been used before, and the winds can reach 80 mph.
Later, the California Office of Emergency services transferred from a region-wide emergency alert to cell phones in Los Angeles and six other provinces: “Strong winds overnight in the creation of extreme fire danger. Stay alert. Listen to the authorities.”
The purple that Pimlott is meant to be part of the “Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index,” produced by the U. S. Forest Service, the National Interagency Coordination Center Predictive Services and other staff members to categorize Santa Anas, according to fire potential.
The threat index makes use of a predictive model, in which the moisture content of dead and living vegetation, and weather models, including the wind speed, and humidity, for the production of a six-day weather forecast for potential large fires. The result is then compared with the climate data and the historical record of the burning of the assessment.
On Thursday, the National Weather Service said there was a “burst” of the wind Wednesday night was gone, and it turned out models may have “over-forecast” Thursday’s wind event. Nevertheless, parts of Southern California still were ravaged by the strong winds, including 88 mph in San Diego County, and 85 km / h in Ventura County, where the largest fire.